Digitizing the Steel Industry with Alyssa Oliver

12.17.2019

It would be wrong to say that digitization has only recently become a Kloeckner Metals strategy and long-time veterans like Alyssa Oliver prove it. While Kloeckner Direct and Part Manager are newer products, Alyssa has served as Kloeckner’s EDI Manager for four and a half years. “Prior to that, I was in the Kloeckner IT Department doing support, testing, and training.”  

EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, is the electronic exchange of business information using a standard format. Before EDI, information as basic as purchase orders or invoices could be transferred between companies in any number of formats depending on their unique processes. 

“Prior to EDI, we might receive an invoice from a supplier and have to enter it into our system manually while translating data into a format consistent with our software and processes. Above and beyond the challenge of translating large amounts of data manually, there might be issues later if we need to reference the original invoice with the supplier.” 

The advent of EDI created a set of technical standards that facilitated fast and seamless communication between businesses. For the manufacturing industry, it served as a starting point for the digital transformation of businesses across the supply chain. Employees like Alyssa are paving the way for further advancements in digital communications with partners.

In addition to serving as Kloeckner’s EDI Manager, Alyssa is also part of its Digital Innovations team. “I work with customer and vendor electronic data transmissions.  You would come to me if you needed a vendor or customer set up on EDI.” Most recently, that has included “working with our branches to improve efficiencies in their order and quote entry process.”

To understand the value of EDI, Alyssa shared one recent win. “We were able to reduce order entry time from hours to minutes in some cases and I was excited to be able to help.” It’s projects like those that keep Alyssa going strong, knowing that her work in EDI has such a strong and immediate impact on the workflow of Kloeckner employees. 

Of course, it isn’t just her colleagues who benefit from Alyssa’s expertise, it’s our customers too. “I love being able to work with different parts of the business. I work with our internal employees but I also get to work with our external vendors and customers. This has allowed me to learn about the end-to-end process of our company and also get to know individuals in different positions inside and outside of the company.”

Not to mention, it continually surprises Alyssa Kloeckner’s impact all around her.  Soon after arriving at Kloeckner, Alyssa was impressed “how involved we are in everything around us. I see our customer’s products everywhere and we are part of those products. Prior to working for Kloeckner, I never thought about the steel industry and how intertwined it is with everything around us.”

Though Alyssa, who formerly worked as an Oracle Implementation Consultant, is excited by the accelerating digitization of Kloeckner and the steel industry, there’s still work to be done. She would like to see “more women in more management roles.” To Alyssa, being a part of “women of steel” means “women being acknowledged in the steel industry and playing a bigger role in the coming years.” Alyssa, we’re looking at you!

Melika Nouri
Melika Nouri is the Marketing & Communications Manager at Kloeckner Metals. Melika holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Kennesaw State University. She previously worked in the technology industry at Hewlett Packard Enterprise as part of their global MarCom team but is very eager to take on steel!
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